TIME FindTheBest

12 World Cup Teams and Their Tech Company Equivalents

In national soccer, as in the world of tech, everybody has a distinct reputation. There are the powerhouses (Brazil, Argentina; Apple, Amazon), the up-and-comers (Colombia; Uber), and of course, the eternally doomed (England; Blockbuster).

At FindTheBest, we looked at company balance sheets, World Cup histories, team rosters, and chief executives to find the tech company equivalents for 12 national soccer teams. Here’s what we found:

1. Brazil = Apple

They’ve each had more tangible success than just about anyone, with Brazil’s five World Cup titles and Apple’s series of blockbuster products (the original Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad). Unfortunately, expectations are now so high that a single slip-up (ex: Croatia’s first goal, Apple Maps) causes the entire world to lose its mind. Year after year, analysts predict the two will shatter records for goals and iPhone sales, respectively, then pile on mercilessly when they fail to meet such lofty expectations.

2. Argentina = Amazon

They’ve been serious contenders ever since 2006, consistently among the top five or six teams/tech companies in the world. While their rivals tend to have up and down years, these two ooze reliability, bringing talent, refined strategy, and strong execution year after year. Most of all, however, each depends upon the brilliance of one man (Lionel Messi, Jeff Bezos) to keep things from falling apart.

3. U.S.A. = Beats by Dre

Flashy and just a little cocky, each has had a recent bout of success, drawing unexpected attention from older, wiser rivals. Experts insist the good fortune is more sizzle than steak, but fans of the respective teams are just pleased to be doing this well. Meanwhile, better, more technically-sound rivals (Spain, England; Shure, Grado) curse their luck, producing a product 10 times better but with quarterly results 10 times worse.

4. England = Microsoft

They’ve each had one enduring success (England’s 1966 World Cup, Microsoft Windows), and a series of promising, but ultimately disappointing years. You wouldn’t say they’re finished, but then again, you certainly wouldn’t bet on either of them. They recently appointed new leaders (Satya Nadella, Roy Hodgson), ushering in a flood of new enthusiasm, and inevitably, a following tide of despondency. At times, it’s gotten so bad that even fans of their most bitter rivals (France, Apple) have quietly wished to see a little more fight.

5. Spain = Groupon

In 2010, they were the most promising enterprises in the world, each reeling off headlines and wins faster than you can say “tiki-taka.” A series of copycat rivals then replicated their success (Japan’s national women’s team, LivingSocial), further convincing the world that soccer strategy/online deals had changed forever. It wasn’t until a few years later when Spain’s and Groupon’s unstable high-wire acts came crashing down, proving that slow, steady, and consistent (ex: Germany, Amazon) still tends to beat quick and frenetic over time.

6. Colombia = Uber

Young, hip, and just plain smart, each has surprised the world with clever strategy and impressive results, week after week. They’re the darlings of their respective industries, and a favorite value bet for sports gamblers and tech investors. As with any success story, there’s been a little backlash—or at least tempering of expectations—but regardless of what happens, each seems poised for a decade of success.

7. Germany = Intel

Next to all the handsome stars, exciting play styles, and Cinderella performances, Germany and Intel are easy to forget, consistent but boring, efficient but not much to look at. They’ve been astonishingly successful over the years, with teams consistently in the quarters, semis, and finals/chips in MacBooks, ThinkPads, and Inspirons. They’re one big tournament win/acquisition away from grabbing back headlines, but for now, they’ll have to accept brief mentions on newspapers’ back pages and product boxes’ fine print.

8. The Netherlands = IBM

Solid, successful, and respected by their industries, the Netherdlands and IBM are nonetheless tainted by shady dealings, whether it’s fouls (as of June 25th, the Netherlands has committed the most fouls per game in the 2014 World Cup) or patent lawsuits (IBM helped cripple new legislation that would have made it easier to dismiss low-quality software patents).

9. Mexico = T-Mobile

They’ve got the most charismatic leaders in the business (Miguel Herrera, John Legere). Each man is likely insane, but that’s also part of their charm. Both organizations are lovable and easy to root for, but if you’re honest, you’re not convinced either has enough money or resources to truly break through. At one point, you even thought about jumping ship to root for them over their richer, more popular rival (USA, Verizon), but you ultimately stuck to your guns, worried about what sort of reception your public change of allegiance would produce.

10. France = Yahoo

They were both world class in 1998, dominating all rivals and seemingly set for decades of dominance. Regrettably, each encountered turbulence over the next decade, losing to craftier, more agile opponents, and eventually becoming the brunt of many industry/league jokes. Fed up with mediocrity, they hired new leaders in 2012 (Didier Deschamps, Marissa Mayer), each with a résumé of accomplishments as long as a soccer pitch. Some argue that the glory days are officially past, but a string of recent successes seems to say otherwise.

11. Portugal = Snapchat

After being irrelevant (or nonexistent) for years, each grabbed international attention under the leadership of a tall, attractive, frat boy (Cristiano Ronaldo, Evan Spiegel). Fan loyalty and company fortune alike seem to hang on the ups and downs of these men, whether it’s a leaked series of offensive emails or an absurd haircut that may or may not have been a tribute to a child who underwent brain surgery. At times, commentators have proposed that the respective groups would be better off under a more stable, low-drama leader, but most agree that the benefit of occasional brilliance outweighs the constant stream of TMZ stories.

12. Greece = Zynga

Over the last several years, both watched their once-promising operations fall apart overnight, calamities only made worse by toxic economic environments back home. They’ve each been on the brink of elimination, only to be rescued by a bit of suspicious maneuvering (the stoppage time penalty against Ivory Coast, the Zynga equity “giveback”). Supporters and investors remain on edge, waiting for stronger, more permanent signs of improvement.

This article was written for TIME by Ben Taylor of FindTheBest.

TIME video

VIDEO: Here’s What’s Next for Google (in Two Minutes)

Wherein we smoosh Google's 2014 developer conference keynote from 2.5+ hours down to just under two minutes.

TIME fitness

4 Great Sports Headphones for Under $50

Getting active is always more fun with music, especially when you exercise solo. Normal headphones aren’t often up to the challenge, though, breaking when they’re covered in sweat and falling out when you move from a walk to a jog. So it’s important to use a pair of headphones made for sports.

Key features in sports headphones to look for include a stabilizer, like ear hooks, sweat resistance and different size eartips for you to choose from to get the perfect fit. Below are four top rated sports headphones that not only deliver a superior auditory experience, but also won’t break the bank.

Philips

1. Philips ActionFit Sports SHQ4200 ($35 on Amazon)

The flexible neckband auto-adjusts to your head for a perfect fit and you can choose from three eartip sizes for the best fit.

Sony

2. Sony MDR-AS200 ($16 on Amazon)

The Sony MDR-AS200 is built to stay in, with a loop hanger for stable fitting and angled earbuds that stay put.
 
 

Koss

3. Koss KSC 32 FitClips ($18 on Amazon)

Amazon reviewers rave about the fit as well as the sound quality of the FitClips earbuds. They come in five colors designed to appeal to women, including coral, purple and lime.
 

Philips

4. Philips ActionFit Sports SHQ1200 ($20 on Amazon)

Smaller and lighter than the SHQ4200 earbuds, these are coated in an anti-slip rubber to keep them in your ears while you run and sweat, even in the rain.

This article was written by Dan O’Halloran and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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TIME Music

WATCH: David Bowie’s and Mick Jagger’s “Dancing In The Street” Video Without The Music

Looks like a silly workout video

Back in 1985, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and David Bowie did a campy cover of the Motown classic “Dancing In The Street.” In 2014, for the latest installment of his music-less music video series, Mario Wienerroither decided to strip out the duo’s dulcet tones and just leave the jumpsuit-and-shoulder-pad-heavy video intact but soundtracked solely by the pitter patter of two sets of very famous feet, the occasional grunt, a train whistle and even a burp.

The result is something that looks like a very energetic exercise video with Mick Jagger playing the enthusiastic aerobics instructor until David Bowie swoops down from the sky like he’s back in Labyrinth and woos Jagger outside. Once they are dancing in the street, the extremely dynamic duo engage in some synchronized dance moves, nearly silent Tai Chi-like arm maneuvers and bold sweeping arm gestures surely directing the silent orchestra. Not since Charlie Chaplin (or, fine, The Artist) has a silent film been so engaging.

[h/t Gothamist]

MORE: Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” Video Without Music Is Completely Creepy

MORE: Head to Rio With Janelle Monáe’s Cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes”

TIME viral

Game of Thrones: The Brady Bunch Remix

It’s just wholesome TV, right?

Classic television is all about family drama, showing close-knit circles of people conflicting with each other then realizing that they love each other after all. Especially if they’re brothers and sisters? On the Will Wheaton Project, the Game of Thrones opening sequence was swapped for that other happy family show, The Brady Bunch.

Apart from all the death and betrayal, it’s an easy transition between the two. Instead of wholesome lyrics, Game of Thrones has “He had hair of gold like his uncle, because of incest,” referencing Joffrey Baratheon, of course, and “Ned was noble, so he died pretty quick,” about the Stark king. In the end, everyone comes together in a big, grimacing grid.

In comparison, here’s the original:

As Leo Tolstoy wrote, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” We might add to that, some families are unhappier than others.

TIME Smartphones

VIDEO: Amazon’s New Fire Phone (In Under 90 Seconds)

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TIME Television

LISTEN: This Game of Thrones Cover Brings Winterfell to the Bayou

Hold the… banjo?

Winter may be coming, but it doesn’t feel so cold when listening to the New Orleans traditional jazz band The Swamp Donkeys play a cover of the Game of Thrones theme at BB King’s in New York City.

The signature, dramatic opening notes are picked out on a banjo, but when the rest of the instruments kick in, it’s more boogie than bleak. It’s like Game of Thrones traveled to the world and era of Boardwalk Empire, which, now that we think about it, Boardwalk Empire kind of is the Game of Thrones of the 1930s?

The Swamp Donkeys’ cover should fit nicely in with the rest of the pantheon of Game of Thrones covers, including this rendition of the theme played with floppy disk drives and The Hold Steady’s rock version of “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” Too bad we still have to wait forever until the new season.

TIME celebrities

Dave Chappelle Describes the First Time He Met Kanye West and It’s Amazing

Kanye, never change

In advance of a string of shows at Radio City Music Hall, Dave Chappelle has been hitting the late night talk show circuit – and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

During a stop-over on The Tonight Show, Chappelle recounted that time he was mistaken for member of The Roots, the show’s house band and let Jimmy Fallon thank him for abruptly departing for South Africa and leaving a gaping hole in the comedy scene: “In the meantime I got famous. So thank you for that,” Fallon quipped. “That helped.”

But the best story to emerge from the appearance was the first time Chappelle met a then-unknown rapper named Kanye West. Chappelle gave West his first appearance on television as a musical guest on The Dave Chappelle Show back in 2003. “You could tell that he was going to be a star,” the comedian said on Fallon. “I didn’t know him until he did the show.”

While making the show, Chappelle, West, Jay Z, Common and Talib Kweli were listening to Jay Z’s just-released Black Album at Chappelle’s studio. On track 12 of the album (“Lucifer”), Jay says, “Kanyeezy, you’s a genius. You did it again!” Chappelle said that at that point, “Kanye stood up. First time he spoke all day, and he goes, ‘Stop the record! And rewind that.’ “

Later, West took a phone call during which he announced, “‘Hello? No, I can’t. Because I’m at the edit for the Dave Chappelle Show, watching sketches that no one’s seen before.’ ” West paused for a moment before declaring, “‘Cause my life is dope and I do dope s–t,” before hanging up the phone.

Time may pass, but Kanye remains the same.

MORE: Dave Chappelle Will Return to NYC Spotlight at Radio City Music Hall

MORE: Dave Chappelle Says He Never Quit His Comedy Central Show

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